Friday, June 22, 2018

[PaleoMammalogy • 2018] Junzi imperialis • New Genus of Extinct Holocene Gibbon associated with Humans in Imperial China

 Junzi imperialis
Turvey, Bruun, Ortiz, Hansford, Hu, Ding, Zhang & Chatterjee, 2018

Although all extant apes are threatened with extinction, there is no evidence for human-caused extinctions of apes or other primates in postglacial continental ecosystems, despite intensive anthropogenic pressures associated with biodiversity loss for millennia in many regions. Here, we report a new, globally extinct genus and species of gibbon, Junzi imperialis, described from a partial cranium and mandible from a ~2200- to 2300-year-old tomb from Shaanxi, China. Junzi can be differentiated from extant hylobatid genera and the extinct Quaternary gibbon Bunopithecus by using univariate and multivariate analyses of craniodental morphometric data. Primates are poorly represented in the Chinese Quaternary fossil record, but historical accounts suggest that China may have contained an endemic ape radiation that has only recently disappeared.


Samuel T. Turvey, Kristoffer Bruun, Alejandra Ortiz, James Hansford, Songmei Hu, Yan Ding, Tianen Zhang and Helen J. Chatterjee. 2018. New Genus of Extinct Holocene Gibbon associated with Humans in Imperial China. Science. 360(6395); 1346-1349. DOI: 10.1126/science.aao4903

The noblewoman's ape
Human activities are causing extinctions across a wide array of taxa. Yet there has been no evidence of humans directly causing extinction among our relatives, the apes. Turvey et al. describe a species of gibbon found in a 2200- to 2300-year-old tomb ascribed to a Chinese noblewoman. This previously unknown species was likely widespread, may have persisted until the 18th century, and may be the first ape species to have perished as a direct result of human activities. This discovery may also indicate the existence of unrecognized primate diversity across Asia.

Vanished ape found in ancient Chinese tomb, giving clues to its disappearance
Chinese grave reveals vanished gibbon genus
Ancient Royal Tomb Yields Strange New Ape Species via @NatGeo
Ancient Chinese tomb reveals previously unknown extinct species

[Herpetology • 2018] Sphenomorphus yersini • A New Skink of the Genus Sphenomorphus Fitzinger, 1843 (Squamata: Scincidae) from Hon Ba Nature Reserve, southern Vietnam

Sphenomorphus yersini 
Nguyen, Nguyen, Nguyen, Orlov & Murphy, 2018

Yersin’s Forest Skink || DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4438.2.6

A new forest skink of the genus Sphenomorphus Fitzinger, 1843 is described from Khanh Hoa Province, southern Vietnam based on morphological characters of four specimens and a fragment of 653 nucleotides of the gene COI. Sphenomorphus yersini sp. nov. is characterized by the following morphological characters: medium size in adults (snout-vent length up to 55 mm); tail length/snout-vent length ratio 1.81; toes reach to fingers when limbs adpressed; midbody scale rows 32–34, smooth; paravertebral scales 61–69; ventral scale rows 58–67; subcaudal scales 112; supraoculars four, rarely five; prefrontals in broad contact with one another; loreal scales two; tympanum deeply sunk; smooth lamellae beneath finger and toe IV 10–12 and 18–20 respectively; a pair of enlarged precloacal scales; hemipenis deeply forked and asymmetrical with two differently sized smooth lobes. The new species differs from its most similar congener, Sphenomorphus buenloicus Darevsky & Nguyen, 1983, by 16.4–16.7% uncorrected p-distance in COI sequences.

Keywords: Reptilia, COI gene, forest skink, Sphenomorphus buenloicus, Sphenomorphus yersini, asymmetrical hemipenis

Sphenomorphus yersini sp. nov.

Etymology. We name this new species in honor of the famous physician and bacteriologist, Alexandre Yersin (1863–1943), who discovered the bacterium responsible for bubonic plague. Hon Ba NR associates with the name of Alexandre Yersin who built a research station on the top of the mountain and worked there. Currently, the research station has been reconstructed and opened to visitors. We recommend Yersin’s Forest Skink as the common name of this new species.

Sang Ngoc Nguyen, Luan Thanh Nguyen, Vu Dang Hoang Nguyen, Nikolai L Orlov and Robert W. Murphy. 2018.  A New Skink of the Genus Sphenomorphus Fitzinger, 1843 (Squamata: Scincidae) from Hon Ba Nature Reserve, southern Vietnam. Zootaxa. 4438(2); 313–326. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4438.2.6

Thursday, June 21, 2018

[Herpetology • 2018] Liolaemus audituvelatus • Molecular Evidence for Conspecificity of Two Desert Liolaemus Lizards (Iguania: Liolaemidae)

Individuals from a) near Caspana (MUAP-114), near type locality for Liolaemus audituvelatus;
b) Diego de Almagro, type locality of
 L. manueli;
 c) and d) Altos Quebrada Agua Colorada.

in Gamboa, Correa, Marambio-Alfaro, et al., 2018.

Liolaemus audituvelatus (Núñez & Yáñez 1983) and L. manueli (Núñez, Navarro, Garín, Pincheira-Donoso & Meriggio 2003) are endemic species of the Atacama Desert of northern Chile that belong to the montanus group. Both species are considered cryptic from each other and can only be distinguished by their distribution ranges and karyotypes. Originally, there was a wide separation zone between their known distribution ranges, but later collections reduced the gap from 430 km to only 150 km. In this study, we review the geographic information about both species and report new localities within the distribution gap, where species identification becomes difficult. We performed a molecular phylogenetic analysis and applied several species delimitation methods to reassess the taxonomic status of both nominal species and new intermediate populations. Our analyses support the placement of L. manueli in the synonymy of L. audituvelatus. We discuss the biogeographic and conservation implications of this new synonymy. 

Key words: Atacama Desert, synonymy, species delimitation, Liolaemus audituvelatusLmanueliPhrynosaura Introduction

FIGURE 2. Individuals from a) near Caspana (MUAP-114), near type locality for Liolaemus audituvelatus; b) Diego de Almagro, type locality of L. manueli; c) and d) Altos Quebrada Agua Colorada; e) and f) Barranquilla (near Caseron). f) is a gravid female. Note that b) male of L. audituvelatus from known distribution and d) male of L. manueli from type locality, are identical and were found 300 km away (in straight line); and, a) and e) are also similar and were found 600 km away (in straight line).

 Margarita R. De Gamboa, Claudio Correa, Yery Marambio-Alfaro, Edvin Riveros-Riffo and Juan C. Ortiz. 2018. Molecular Evidence for Conspecificity of Two Desert Liolaemus Lizards (Iguania: Liolaemidae). Zootaxa. 4438(2); 283–298. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4438.2.4


[Ichthyology • 2018] Distribution and Recruitment of Young-of-the-Year Giant Sea Bass, Stereolepis gigas, off Southern California

Young-of-the-Year  Giant Sea Bass, Stereolepis gigas Ayres, 1859

in Benseman & Allen. 2018. 

This study identified nursery habitat, recruitment patterns, the planktonic larval duration (PLD), size and age at settlement, and growth rate of the young-of-the-year (YOY) Giant Sea Bass (GSB), Stereolepis gigas, off Southern California. A total of 160 YOY GSB were sighted on 150 transects over a three-year period. Young-of-the-year GSB were relatively rare (maximum density of 40/ha) and recruitment was limited to a few areas. In 2014–2015, densities of YOY GSB were significantly higher at six locations off sandy beaches nearest the heads of submarine canyons off Redondo Beach, Newport Beach, and La Jolla, California. The vast majority of occurrences of YOY (73%) were within 500 m of the heads of submarine canyons. Three color phases of YOY were discovered ranging (smallest to largest individuals) from black to brown to orange. Recruitment occurred from July through February with peak abundances occurring in the late summer months from August through October. YOY occurred at depths from 2 m to nearly 10 m. Overall, size of YOY GSB increased with depth in the shallow sand riffle zone. YOY grew rapidly at 1.23 mm/day (n = 23) with collected individuals ranging from 31 to 84 d old based on daily ring increments in otoliths. The planktonic larval duration was estimated to be about one lunar month (26.8±2.4 d) based on the presence of the first settlement check and size of earliest settlers. Size at settlement was estimated to be 14.4±3.0 mm TL (10.6±2.5 mm standard length [SL]). This information adds substantially to our knowledge of early developmental processes and recruitment patterns of Giant Sea Bass that are crucial to our understanding of their life history and to making informed decisions regarding fisheries management policies and conservation efforts.

Fig. 1. A YOY Giant Sea Bass, Stereolepis gigas, photographed over a typical, nearshore, sandy bottom off the Southern California coast.
Inset top: an adult Giant Sea Bass estimated at 2 m in total length photographed off Catalina Island, California.

 Photo: Mike Couffer.

Stephanie A. Benseman and Larry G. Allen. 2018. Distribution and Recruitment of Young-of-the-Year Giant Sea Bass, Stereolepis gigas, off Southern California. Copeia. 106(2); 312-320. DOI: 10.1643/CE-18-021 

[Herpetology • 2018] Amolops gerutu & A. australis • Elevational Size Variation and Two New Species of Torrent Frogs (Anura: Ranidae: Amolops Cope) from Peninsular Malaysia

[A, C]  Amolops larutensis (Boulenger, 1899)
[B, D] Amolops gerutu 
Chan, Abraham, Grismer & Grismer, 2018

  (A) female Amolops larutensis from Fraser's Hill, Pahang; (B) female A. gerutu from Chemerong, Pahang;
 (C) male A. larutensis from Fraser's Hill; (D) male A. gerutu from Sekayu, Terengganu;

Previously, only one species of torrent frog (Amolops larutensis) was thought to occur throughout Peninsular Malaysia. However, genomic work has demonstrated that populations from eastern Peninsular Malaysia form two separate lineages that are genetically distinct from A. larutensis that is now restricted to the western half of Peninsular Malaysia. This study demonstrates that all three lineages can be morphologically distinguished from each other, thereby providing additional support for the recognition of the eastern lineages as two distinct species. These lineages are described herein as Amolops gerutu sp. nov. from the eastern states of Kelantan, Terengganu, and Pahang, and A. australis sp. nov. from the southern-most state of Johor. In general, these two new species form a clade that is sister to A. larutensis and can be readily distinguished from it by having: (1) considerably denser and more pronounced dorsal tubercles, and (2) the posterodorsal surface of thighs having dense, dark stippling as opposed to broad vermiculations. Although differences in other morphometric characters were detected, their utility as diagnostic characters should be applied with caution due to the large intraspecific variation that overlaps among different species in many of the characters we measured. As such, we advocate for the use of tuberculation and pattern of the posterodorsal portion of the thighs as primary diagnostic characters. These characters can readily distinguish A. larutensis from the two new species. To differentiate A. australis sp. nov. from A. gerutu sp. nov. and A. larutensis, body size can be a good diagnostic character as A. australis sp. nov. is significantly smaller in both males (mean = 31.04 ± 1.59 mm) and females (mean = 46.48 ± 3.2 mm). Additionally, we show a strong positive correlation between body size and elevation, with populations from montane forests (>900 m asl) being considerably larger than populations at lower elevations.
Keywords: Amphibia, Taxonomy, systematics, morphology, amphibian, cryptic species, body size

Amolops gerutu sp. nov.
Tuberculated Torrent Frog

Amolops larutensis Sumarli, Grismer, Anuar, Muin & Quah, 2015, pp 4,9,12.

Distribution. Besides the type locality, Amolops gerutu sp. nov. has been documented from a number of other localities east of the Titiwangsa mountain range including Gunung Stong Forest Reserve, in the state of Kelantan; Lata Tembakah, Lata Belatan, and Sekayu Recreational Forest in the state of Terengganu (Dring 1979; Sumarli et al. 2015); and Sungai Lembing, Sungai Pandan Waterfall, and Chemerong Amenity Forest in the state of Pahang. At Gunung Stong, A. gerutu sp. nov. occurs in syntopy with A. larutensis (Fig. 1).

Natural history. Like most congeners, Amolops gerutu sp. nov. is a strict torrent specialist that only occurs within or along torrential zones of rocky streams from lowland to montane forests. During the day, frogs dwell in rock cracks and sheltered areas among boulder stacks along streams and are rarely seen out in the open. They can be seen in abundance at night, most frequently on boulders by splash zones and occasionally on adjacent low vegetation. When disturbed, frogs dive into the rapids and float downstream. Like other congeners, tadpoles of this species are gastromyzophorous (Pham et al. 2015) and can be seen clinging onto boulders in the splash zone. On such boulders, tadpoles are usually observed above or just below the water line.

Etymology. The specific epithet “gerutu” (English pronunciation “gir-roo-too”) refers to the Malay word of the same construct, meaning “tubercle”, in reference to the pronounced dorsal tubercles that are diagnostic of this species.

Amolops australis sp. nov.
Southern Torrent Frog

Amolops larutensis, Ahmad, Senawi & Lim 2004, p 26; Belabut & Hashim, 2005, p 200; Wood, Grismer, Youmans, Nasir, Ahmad & Senawi, 2008, p 118; Grismer & Pan, 2008, p. 277 (in part); Shahriza, Ibrahim, Anuar & Muin, 2012, p 558, 561.
Staurois larutensis, Belabut & Hashim, 2004, pp. 67, 69.

Distribution. Amolops australis sp. nov. is only known from the southern state of Johor where it has been confirmed to occur in Endau-Rompin National Park and Bantang River Amenity Forest. It is presumed to occur more widely in suitable habitats in the surrounding southern region of Peninsular Malaysia.

Natural history. The natural history of this species is similar to that of Amolops gerutu sp. nov. and A. larutensis. No information is available for tadpoles.

Etymology. The specific epithet is derived from the Latin word “ australis ”, meaning “southern” in English, and is applied in reference to the distribution of this species in southern Peninsular Malaysia that also represents the southern-most distributional limit of the entire genus.

Chan Kin Onn, Robin Kurian Abraham, Jesse L. Grismer and L. Lee Grismer. 2018. Elevational Size Variation and Two New Species of Torrent Frogs from Peninsular Malaysia (Anura: Ranidae: Amolops Cope). Zootaxa. 4434(2); 250–264. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4434.2.2

Kin Onn Chan, Alana M. Alexander, Lee L. Grismer, et al. 2017. Species Delimitation with Gene Flow: A Methodological Comparison and Population Genomics Approach to Elucidate Cryptic Species Boundaries in Malaysian Torrent Frogs.  Molecular Ecology. DOI: 10.1111/mec.14296 

[Herpetology • 2018] Pseudopaludicola florencei • A New Species of Pseudopaludicola Miranda-Ribeiro (Anura: Leptodactylidae) from eastern Brazil, with Novel Data on the Advertisement Call of Pseudopaludicola falcipes (Hensel)

Pseudopaludicola florencei 
Andrade, Haga, Lyra, Leite, Kwet, Baptista Haddad, Toledo & Giaretta, 2018

The Neotropical genus Pseudopaludicola includes 21 species, which occur throughout South America. Recent studies suggested that the population of Andaraí, in the state of Bahia, is an undescribed species, related to P. pocoto. Herein we formally describe this new species from lowlands of eastern Brazil. Recognition of this new species is supported by adult morphology, advertisement call, karyotype, and molecular data. It is diagnosed mainly by its small size, terminal phalanges knobbed (lack any expansion of the digital tips), proportionally short hindlimbs, 11 pairs of chromosomes, and advertisement call composed of series of three-pulsed notes, emitted at a high rate. In addition, we report for the first time the presence of P. pocoto in the campo rupestre (rupestrian grasslands) of Chapada Diamantina, a population with a much darker dorsal coloration than the population from the type locality. We also redescribed the advertisement call of P. falcipes based on recordings from topotypic males.

Keywords: Amphibia, Advertisement call, bioacoustics, integrative taxonomy, Pseudopaludicola pocoto, morphologically cryptic species

FIGURE 3. Holotype and three paratypes of Pseudopaludicola florencei sp. nov. in life.
(A) ZUEC 23521 (holotype, adult male, call voucher, SVL = 12.9 mm), (B) ZUEC 23523 (adult female, SVL = 15.5 mm), (C) ZUEC 23520 (adult male, call voucher, SVL = 13.2 mm), and (D) ZUEC 23522 (adult male, SVL = 12.8 mm).

Pseudopaludicola florencei sp. nov.
Pseudopaludicola sp. (Andaraí/BA): Duarte et al. 2010; Andrade et al. 2016
Pseudopaludicola sp. 1 (Andaraí/BA): Veiga-Menoncello et al. 2014


Etymology. The specific name honors Antoine Hercule Romuald Florence. Better known as Hercule Florence, a French artist, painter, polygrapher, and inventor, is acknowledged as the inventor of photography in Brazil in the 19th century. After his return from the Langsdorff’s expedition (from 1826 to 1829), Florence developed a system able to properly describe animal sounds, transcribing them into a five line music staff (Florence 1831, 1876; Toledo & Araújo 2017). Such method, termed as “Zoophonie” by Florence, was the first universal method of describing animal sounds and he is therefore designated as the “father of bioacoustics” (Vielliard 1993; Toledo & Araújo 2017). At least these two techniques (photography and zoophony = bioacoustics) are fundamental for species description nowadays (Köhler et al. 2017). Specifically, bioacoustics has proved to be efficient in clarifying the taxonomy of the genus Pseudopaludicola (as in the present study).

Felipe Silva de Andrade, IIsabelle Aquemi Haga, Mariana Lúcio Lyra, Felipe Sá Fortes Leite, Axel Kwet, Célio Fernando Baptista Haddad,  Luis Felipe Toledo and Ariovaldo Antonio Giaretta. 2018. A New Species of Pseudopaludicola Miranda-Ribeiro (Anura: Leptodactylidae: Leiuperinae) from eastern Brazil, with Novel Data on the Advertisement Call of Pseudopaludicola falcipes (Hensel)Zootaxa. 4433(1); 71-100. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4433.1.4

BBC News Brasil - Os sapos menores que uma moeda e típicos do Brasil - e que ainda estão sendo descobertos
Os microssapinhos menores que uma moeda e típicos do Brasil - e que ainda estão sendo descobertos

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

[Paleontology • 2018] Primitivus manduriensis • A New Fossil Marine Lizard with Soft Tissues from the Late Cretaceous of southern Italy

Primitivus manduriensis 
Paparella, Palci, Nicosia & Caldwell, 2018
   DOI:  10.1098/rsos.172411 

A new marine lizard showing exceptional soft tissue preservation was found in Late Cretaceous deposits of the Apulian Platform (Puglia, Italy). Primitivus manduriensis gen. et sp. nov. is not only the first evidence of the presence of dolichosaurs in a southern Italian Carbonate Platform, filling a palaeogeographic gap in the Mediterranean Tethys, but also extends the range of this group to the upper Campanian–lower Maastrichtian. Our parsimony analysis recovers a monophyletic non-ophidian pythonomorph clade, including Tetrapodophis amplectus at the stem of Mosasauroidea + Dolichosauridae, which together represent the sister group of Ophidia (modern and fossil snakes). Based on Bayesian inference instead, Pythonomorpha is monophyletic, with Ophidia representing the more deeply nested clade, and the new taxon as basal to all other pythonomorphs. Primitivus displays a fairly conservative morphology in terms of both axial elongation of the trunk and limb reduction, and the coexistence of aquatic adaptations with features hinting at the retention of the ability to move on land suggests a semi-aquatic lifestyle. The exceptional preservation of mineralized muscles, portions of the integument, cartilages and gut content provides unique sources of information about this extinct group of lizards. The new specimen may represent local persistence of a relict dolichosaur population until almost the end of the Cretaceous in the Mediterranean Tethys, and demonstrates the incompleteness of our knowledge of dolichosaur temporal and spatial distributions.

KEYWORDS: Squamata, Pythonomorpha, Apulian Platform, Cretaceous, soft tissue, ultraviolet radiation

Figure 1. Holotype of Primitivus manduriensis gen. et sp. nov. (MPUR NS 161) at natural (a) and UV (b) light as exposed from the matrix in dorsal view. The imaging under UV radiations is a composite of two pictures. Scale bars: 5 cm. 

 Systematic palaeontology
Reptilia Linnaeus, 1758
Squamata Oppel, 1811
Pythonomorpha Cope, 1869

Definition. Dolichosauridae is here defined as the group including all taxa sharing a more recent common ancestor with Dolichosaurus longicollis than with Aigialosaurus sp. In our study, this includes the following genera: Dolichosaurus, Pontosaurus, Primitivus gen. nov., Adriosaurus, Acteosaurus, and Aphanizocnemus (cf. Nopcsa [1903] and Conrad [2008]).

Diagnosis. Dolichosauridae is here defined as the group of non-ophidian pythonomorphs characterized by the following combination of features: non-sutural contact between premaxilla and maxilla; jugal lacking large posterior process; postorbital portion of postfrontal + postorbital forming half or more of the posterior orbital margin; hypapophyses/hypapophyseal peduncles extending to the tenth presacral/precloacal vertebra or beyond (10–12 cervical vertebrae); 32–40 presacral/precloacal vertebrae; reduced scapula and coracoid; tail deep, laterally compressed (cf. Pierce & Caldwell [2004], Caldwell [2006,2000], Palci & Caldwell [2010]).

Primitivus manduriensis gen. et sp. nov.

Etymology. The genus is named after the famous red wine grape variety, ‘Primitivo’, native to and grown in great quantities in the Salento Peninsula (Puglia, southern Italy). The species name has been chosen to honour the full name of the wine, ‘Primitivo di Manduria’, which is not only produced around the town of Manduria (Taranto, Puglia), but also in other localities of the Salento Peninsula, including Nardò, where the specimen was found.

Holotype. MPUR NS 161, an almost complete skeleton mostly in articulation, exposed in dorsal view, partially embedded in the rock, and missing the terminal portion of the tail and some elements of the skull. Together with the skeleton, there are abundant soft tissues preserved, including permineralized muscle fibres and integument. 

Locality and stratigraphy. Nardò, Lecce (Puglia, southern Italy); higher portion of the informal geological unit ‘Calcari di Melissano’, Apulian Carbonate Platform.

Age. Upper Campanian–lower Maastrichtian, based on microfossils.

Diagnosis. The new taxon can be distinguished from other dolichosaurids by the following unique combination of features: contact between frontal and prefrontal limited in the dorsal view; sutural contact between the septomaxilla anterolateral margin and the maxilla; the septomaxilla posterolateral margin in contact with the nasal; 10 cervical vertebrae + 22 dorsal vertebrae (32 presacrals); bowtie-shaped astragalus (with both a dorsal and a ventral notch); calcaneum with a proximal concavity for articulation with the fibula; deeply imbricated, small sub-circular scales on the lateral sides of the trunk and limbs; larger diamond-shaped scales on the trunk dorsal region; transversally expanded subcaudal scales.

Figure 12. Primitivus manduriensis three-dimensional model and life reconstruction. The specimen is preserved in sediments deposited in the shallower portion of an inner lagoon of the Apulian Carbonate Platform, and is inferred to have a semi-aquatic lifestyle. Three-dimensional model (a) and life reconstruction (b) created by Fabio Manucci.

Ilaria Paparella, Alessandro Palci, Umberto Nicosia and Michael W. Caldwell. 2018. A New Fossil Marine Lizard with Soft Tissues from the Late Cretaceous of southern Italy.  Royal Society Open Science.   DOI:  10.1098/rsos.172411

[Ichthyology • 2018] Pethia sahit • A New Syntopic Species of Small Barb (Teleostei: Cyprinidae) from the Western Ghats of India

Pethia sahit
Katwate, Kumkar, Raghavan & Dahanukar, 2018

A new species of the cyprinid genus Pethia is described from the Hiranyakeshi, a tributary of the Krishna River system in the Western Ghats mountain ranges of peninsular India. The new species, Pethia sahit, is syntopic—and shoals together—with Pethia longicauda, a species described recently from the same river. Pethia sahit is distinguished from P. longicauda and its congeners by a combination of characters like, incomplete lateral line with 3–6 pored scales; 19–22 scales in lateral series; 4½ scales between dorsal-fin origin and lateral-line row and 2½ scales between lateral line row and pelvic-fin origin; intercalated scale row originates above and after the 6th scale of the lateral-line scale row; dorsal fin originating behind the pelvic-fin origin; 4+13 abdominal and 12 caudal vertebrae; dorsal, pectoral, pelvic, anal and caudal fins without any bands or spots, deep yellow-orange in color or deep red with a pale tint of orange in mature males; a dark-black vertically elongate humeral spot, overlapping the 4th lateral-line scale, extending over the base of one scale above and below the 4th scale; caudal peduncle spot dark, covering 14th–16th scales in lateral-line scale row. Genetic analysis based on the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene indicates that P. sahit and P. longicauda are not sister taxa. Further, P. sahit has no genetically proximate congener in the Western Ghats region, and differs from known congeners from south and southeast Asia, for which genetic data are available, with genetic distance ranging from 11.8–16.4%.

Keywords: Pisces, freshwater fish; integrative taxonomy; Pethia; sympatry

Unmesh Katwate, Pradeep Kumkar, Rajeev Raghavan and Neelesh Dahanukar. 2018. A New Syntopic Species of Small Barb from the Western Ghats of India (Teleostei: Cyprinidae).  Zootaxa. 4434(3); 529–546. DOI:  10.11646/zootaxa.4434.3.8


[Diplopoda • 2018] The Genus Eviulisoma Silvestri, 1910 (Polydesmida, Paradoxosomatidae), in the Udzungwa Mountains, Tanzania, and related species from other Eastern Arc Mountains. With notes on Eoseviulisoma Brolemann, 1920, and Suohelisoma Hoffman, 1963 [A Mountain of Millipedes VII]

Eviulisoma zebra Enghoff, 2018
one of the strikingly marked species from the Udzungwa Mts. 

Photograph by Martin Nielsen.


 Twenty-two new species of the genus Eviulisoma Silvestri, 1910, from the Eastern Arc Mountains, Tanzania, are described: Eviulisoma acaciae sp. nov., E. aequilobatum sp. nov., E. akkariae sp. nov., E. angulatum sp. nov., E. articulatum sp. nov., E. biquintum sp. nov., E. breviscutum sp. nov., E. cetafi sp. nov., E. chitense sp. nov., E. commelina sp. nov., E. coxale sp. nov., E. ejti sp. nov., E. grumslingslak sp. nov., E. kalimbasiense sp. nov., E. navuncus sp. nov., E. nessiteras sp. nov., E. ottokrausi sp. nov., E. paradisiacum sp. nov., E. sternale sp. nov. and E. zebra sp. nov. from the Udzungwa Mts, E. culter sp. nov. from the Rubeho Mts and E. kangense sp. nov. from the Kanga Mts. Eviulisoma kwabuniense Kraus, 1958, and E. dabagaense Kraus, 1958, both from the Udzungwa Mts, are redesribed based on new material. Notes are provided on E. iuloideum (Verhoeff, 1941) based on type material. Eoseviulisoma Brolemann, 1920, is synonymized under Eviulisoma, based on newly collected material of E. julinum (Attems, 1909), type species of Eoseviulisoma. New material of Suohelisoma ulugurense Hoffman, 1964, type species of Suohelisoma Hoffman, 1964, has revealed that the gonopod structure is more similar to that of Eviulisoma than originally thought, but Suohelisoma is retained as a valid genus. Four species groups are recognized among Eviulisoma species from the Udzungwa Mts, but the need for a revision of the entire genus is emphasized. Two types of epizootic fungi are recorded from Eviulisoma spp., and an enigmatic amorphous mass, which may be a kind of plugging substance, is recorded from the gonopod tips and excavated sixth sternum of several species. 

Keywords: Taxonomy, new species, epizootic fungi, copulatory plug. 

Fig. 1. Eviulisoma zebra sp. nov., one of the strikingly marked species from the Udzungwa Mts.
Photograph by Martin Nielsen.

Henrik Enghoff. 2018. A Mountain of Millipedes VII: The Genus Eviulisoma Silvestri, 1910, in the Udzungwa Mountains, Tanzania, and related species from other Eastern Arc Mountains. With notes on Eoseviulisoma Brolemann, 1920, and Suohelisoma Hoffman, 1963 (Diplopoda, Polydesmida, Paradoxosomatidae)European Journal of Taxonomy. 445: 1–90. DOI: 10.5852/ejt.2018.445

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

[Herpetology • 2018] Fejervarya kalinga & F. krishnan • Two New Species of Cricket Frogs of the Genus Fejervarya Bolkay, 1915 (Anura: Dicroglossidae) from the Peninsular India

 Fejervarya kalinga 
Raj, Dinesh, Das, Dutta, Kar & Mohapatra, 2018

The Dicroglossidae frogs of genus Fejervarya Bolkay, 1915 are morphologically cryptic and represented by one of the widespread group of frogs across the tropical Asia comprising about 45 species. Being morphologically cryptic, taxonomic status for many of the species remains uncertain. Recent studies using integrative taxonomic approach have revealed the existence of many novel and hitherto undescribed species. Herewith, we describe two new species of Fejervarya viz. Fejervarya kalinga sp. nov. and Fejervarya krishnan sp. nov. from peninsular India having morphological and phylogenetic distinctness. Detailed morphological descriptions and comparisons with the known congeners along with their systematic relationship inferred from phylogenetic analyses are presented herein. Taxonomic problems within the genus for the peninsular India and the pattern of phylogenetic relationships are also presented.

Keywords: Cryptic Species, Eastern Ghats, Fejervarya, India, New Species, Phylogeny, South Asia, Western Ghats.

Prudhvi Raj, K. P. Dinesh, Abhijit Das, Sushil K. Dutta, Niladri B. Kar and Pratyush P. Mohapatra. 2018. Two New Species of Cricket Frogs of the Genus Fejervarya Bolkay, 1915 (Anura: Dicroglossidae) from the Peninsular India. Records of the Zoological Survey of India.  118(1); 1-21. DOI:   10.26515/rzsi/v118/i1/2018/121436

Scientists discover two new cricket frogs in India, take the list to over 30 species now  via @SciResMatters
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[Botany • 2018] Talbotiella cheekii (Leguminosae: Detarioideae) • A New Tree Species from Guinea

Talbotiella cheekii Burgt

in van der Burgt, Molmou, Diallo, et al., 2018.

Talbotiella cheekii Burgt, a new tree species from Guinea, is described and illustrated. It is a tree to 24 m high, with a stem diameter to 83 cm, and occurs in forest dominated by tree species of the Leguminosae subfamily Detarioideae, on rocky stream banks and rocky hill slopes, at an altitude of 100 – 600 m. It is estimated that 1600 – 2400 mature trees have been seen, in about twelve forest patches; more trees may be present in places not yet visited. One of the localities of the new species is situated at only 46 km northeast of the centre of the capital Conakry and 6 km northeast of the town centre of Coyah, part of the Conakry urban agglomeration. Its distribution is 1400 km further west from the previous westernmost distribution of the genus. The current extent of occurrence is 166 km2. Talbotiella cheekii is here assessed as Endangered (EN) following IUCN Red List categories.

Key Words: Conservation, Endangered species, West Africa 

Fig. 3 Talbotiella cheekii Burgt.
 A branch with inflorescences; B leaf upper surface; C infructescence with three fruits; D leaflet lower surface showing two glands; E stipule; F auriculate stipule; G flower.

 A, E, G from Burgt 2087; B, D, F from Burgt 2065; C from Molmou 988. drawn by Xander van der Burgt.

Fig. 1. Talbotiella cheekii Burgt.
A two flowers; B twig with inflorescences; C infructescence with two fruits; D leaves.

 A – B from Burgt 2087; C from Molmou 988; D from Burgt 2065. 
PHOTOS: A, B, D Xander van der Burgt; C Martin Cheek.

Talbotiella cheekii Burgt sp. nov.

Recognition: Talbotiella cheekii is morphologically similar to T. batesii Baker f. The pedicels of T. cheekii are pink to red, 9 – 24 mm long; the bracteoles are 8 – 15 × 0.7 – 1.5 mm (the pedicels of T. batesii are white, 4 – 10.5 mm long; the bracteoles are 6 – 8.5 × 1.1 – 2.5 mm). The ovary of T. cheekii is reddish green to dark red, and glabrous with only the edges densely hairy (the ovary of T. batesii is pale pink, and densely hairy). The pod of T. cheekii is glabrous, the sutures sparsely hairy (the pod of T. batesii has the surfaces and suture moderately puberulous). The leaflet apex of T. cheekii is rounded to slightly emarginate (the leaflet apex of T. batesii is acute).

DISTRIBUTION: Guinea (Map 1). Talbotiella cheekii occurs on the sandstone plateau in the northern part of Coyah Préfecture. Its distribution just extends into Dubreka and Kindia Préfectures.

Etymology: Talbotiella cheekii is named after Dr Martin Cheek, Head of the Africa & Madagascar Team in the Identification and Naming Department of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. The new species was discovered thanks to his long-standing commitment to the study of African plants. He has been studying the flora of Guinea on field expeditions since 2005, supported the restoration of the National Herbarium of Guinea, and described a new genus and four new species from the country (Cheek & Burgt 2010; Cheek & Haba 2016a, 2016b; Cheek & Williams 2016; Cheek et al. 2016). He is also involved in the designation of new protected areas in Guinea as part of Kew’s Tropical Important Plant Areas (TIPAs) Project (Darbyshire et al. 2017) and is supervising a Darwin Initiative-funded project on rare plant species conservation in the country.

Vernacular Name: Linsonyi (from Burgt 2084); Meni (from Molmou 988); Wonkifong wouri khorohoi (from Burgt 2097), translated as the “Tree with hard wood from Wonkifong”. This last name was proposed by the people of Malassi village when the trees were shown to them. All three names are in the Susu language.

Talbotiella cheekii is characterised by the long pedicels, pink to red in colour, the long and narrow bracteoles, the glabrous pod (only the margin sometimes has a few hairs) and the rounded to slightly emarginate leaflet apex. Apart from this, the leaves and leaflets of T. cheekii and T. batesii are more or less similar; both species have 9 – 14 pairs of leaflets per leaf. Of all previously described Talbotiella species, T. cheekii is morphologically most similar to T. batesii. This is remarkable, because T. batesii is the easternmost species of Talbotiella, occurring in southeast Cameroon, northeast Gabon and north Congo (Brazzaville), at 2900 to 3100 km distance from T. cheekii, the westernmost species. A molecular analysis might show, however, that T. cheekii is more closely related to a different species, for example to T. gentii from Ghana, geographically the nearest of the eight existing Talbotiella species.

Two more plant species from the Leguminosae family have been newly discovered in Guinea in recent years: Eriosema triformum Burgt (Burgt et al. 2012), a pyrophytic herb with unifoliolate leaves, from submontane grassland, endemic to the Pic de Fon area in the Simandou Range, and Gilbertiodendron tonkolili Burgt & Estrella (Estrella et al. 2012), a tree from well-drained sandy and/or rocky soils on river banks and forest patches, first discovered in Sierra Leone, and later found to occur also in Guinea (e.g. the specimens Cheek 16172, 16583 and 16614; all in HNG and K).

Xander M. van der Burgt, Denise Molmou, Almamy Diallo, Gbamon Konomou, Pepe M. Haba and Sékou Magassouba. 2018. Talbotiella cheekii (Leguminosae: Detarioideae), A New Tree Species from Guinea. Kew Bulletin.  73:26. DOI: 10.1007/s12225-018-9755-4

[Botany • 2018] Taxonomic Revision of Peliosanthes bakeri and P. violacea (Asparagaceae), with Description of Two New Species from Bangladesh and India; Peliosanthes subspicata & P. khasiana

Peliosanthes violacea  Wall. ex Baker

 in Tanaka. 2018. 

Syntypes of Peliosanthes bakeri and four varieties (var. clarkei, var. minor, var. princeps and var. violacea) of P. violacea were reexamined to review their identities. As a result, it turned out that the syntypes of P. bakeri comprise two species, P. griffithii and P. subspicata sp. nov., and those of P. violacea include at least six species, Pgriffithii, Pkhasiana sp. nov.PmacrostegiaPsubspicataP. teta, and P. violacea. The two new species, P. khasiana from NE India and P. subspicata from Bangladesh and NE India are described and illustrated. The other four species recognised are taxonomically revised as to their identity, circumscription and distribution. In this connection, lectotypes for five taxa are designated. An identification key for the six species recognised is also provided.

Keywords: tropical Asia, subtropical Asia, Monocots

Peliosanthes violacea  Wall. ex Baker

Noriyuki Tanaka. 2018. Taxonomic Revision of Peliosanthes bakeri and P. violacea (Asparagaceae), with Description of Two New Species from Bangladesh and India. Phytotaxa. 356(1); 34–48.  DOI:  10.11646/phytotaxa.356.1.3